Complete A-Z list

Lego Movie, The


Stars: Voices: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman

Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Move over Hamlet! Your time as Denmark’s most famous son is over.

Now that honour firmly belongs to the created-in-Denmark plastic play bricks, brilliantly brought to life by 3-D computer animation in an unashamed piece of product placement that, fortuitously, also succeeds splendidly as a wildly entertaining and seriously surreal adventure whose entire cast is cleverly created out of Lego building bricks.

It’s creative approach is signalled early one when the arrival of arch-villain and big businessman (who said satire was dead?) Lord Business is preceded by the injunction “Cover your butts! He’s coming!”

After which anything and everything goes as Our Hero, the very ordinary average and absolutely unprepared worker Emmet is mistakenly identified as the Special, the only person who can save Lego-kind from Lord Business. Which he bravely sets out to do, despite his admission that “I have not experience fighting, leading or making plans!”

What follows (sometimes in almost-migraine inducing animated flashes) is a mélange of crazy comedy and action performed by an amazing brick-built cast featuring such cinema stalwarts as Batman, Superman, Han Solo, C3PO and Green Lantern in well-created supporting roles. Add Morgan Freeman voicing ancient mystic Vitruvius, Elizabeth Banks speaking for the brick-built leading lady Wyldestyle and, my favourite, the two faced Good Cop/Bad Cop spoken for by Liam Neeson.

The vocal casting is apt all the way through and features (uniquely, perhaps?) a non-irritating and perfectly judged performance by Will Ferrell both speaking for a Lego creation and as a flesh and blood character,

All praise is due to writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller whose barmy brew features everything from spacecraft, pirate ships and a Wild West saloon to a Brave New Lego world that might even have made George Orwell blink.

It’s a splendid one-off and comes off as just fine for all ages.

(And don’t just take the word of a critic – Dad (Ben) enthuses: “this was absolutely brilliant” and, adds Lily, aged 7, “It was the best film I have ever seen. I can’t believe Batman and Superman were in it,” while, says Jake, aged 7, “Like the Lego song says – ‘everything is awesome’!”).

Alan Frank

Australia/USA/Denmark 2014. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Feb 2014